Settler Youth Clash With Leftists After Trying to Rebuild Outpost

Border Policemen dismantled two outposts which were built by settlers near West Bank town of Hebron.

Border Police officers on Wednesday were forced to dismantle for the second time in less than 24 hours an illegal West Bank outpost.

Settler youth had tried in the afternoon to rebuild structures in the Givat 18 outpost near Kiryat Arba, one of two settlement outposts razed overnight.

After the troops left, a quarrel broke out between the youth and Palestinian and left-wing Israeli activists. There were no casualties reported.

Israeli security forces dismantled the two settlement outposts in the early morning hours on Wednesday, heightening tensions between the government and far-rightists.

A contingent of Border Police forces as well as civilian police units took apart in the outposts in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to the West Bank town of Hebron.

According to Army Radio, one of the outposts, "Havat Federman" (Federman Farm), which was built by the prominent right-wing settler Noam Federman, was already dismantled by security forces in the past. The other outpost, "Givat 18" (Hill Number 18), was built by yeshiva students from Kiryat Arba.

Police forces who arrived at Havat Federman prior to the evacuation were surprised to discover just one large tent filled with supplies. Last year, the outpost consisted of four large homes before it was torn down. In recent months, the Federman family has started moving back into the area, according to Army Radio.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resolved to move against the outposts in a bid to stave off pressure from the Obama administration, which seeks Israeli gestures of good will towards the Palestinians. The outpost evacuation elicited an angry response from the right.

"The real prime minister, Ehud Barak, is the one who continues to lead the government's policy, while the Likud ministers are dragged after him," Federman said in response to the removal of the outpost that bears his name.

National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari accused Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak of "flouting" the Likud and its voters by authorizing the outpost removals.